I did Crabtree to Dear Lake to Buck Lakes last year the last week in May; last year was very dry too but not quite as extreme at this year. In any case, I encountered patchy snow at 8400 and sustained snow around the 8800 foot levels. It sounds like things are on track to be similar this year.
Last year the mosquitoes were not bad if you camped at the snow line, but they got progressively worse as you got further away from it. So Gem Lake at 8200 was clear of snow but swarming with mosquitoes when I was there, but Dear Lake at 8460 had snow on its south (shady) shore and no mosquitoes when I arrived.
If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
Last year I did a May trip at Emigrant, first weekend Crabtree was open. Here's the (brief) TR. You can probably expect the same kinds of conditions this year.
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